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Winners of inaugural Asian Food and Restaurant Awards

(L- R) Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma and High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Amari Mandika Wijewardene present the Lifetime Achievement award to Mehboob Hussain (Photo: AFRA)

Nadine Osman

Founder of Nawaab restaurants Mehboob Hussain has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the inaugural Asian Food and Restaurant Awards on August 1.

The awards held in London recognise the achievements and positive contribution being made by South Asians across the UK food industry. His Royal Nawaab in Manchester was also named Restaurant of the year North West.

The awards  aim to celebrate these special stories as well as honour the dedication and commitment of those who have spread their love for Asian flavours through their passion to take their food culture to the mainstream.

Hussain, from the Royal Nawaab Manchester, took a chance when he transformed an old cinema into a wedding banqueting suite. The decision has in many ways revolutionised how Asian weddings were celebrated.

Accepting his award Hussain said, “I am truly humbled and honoured. I am lost for words.  All I can say is that it has given me the ammunition and determination to continue with my goals. ”

In a statement to The Muslim News Chair of the awards, Atta Ul Haq congratulated “all the participants and stakeholders of the food industry for their huge contribution for setting legendary benchmarks, be them the waiters, the chefs or the owners.”

 Asian Food and Restaurant Awards Winners: 

Best organics food product distributer, Tru Vibe by Anand Dani

Restaurant of the year North West, Royal Nawaab (Manchester)

Restaurant of the year Midland, Tipu Sultan (Birmingham)

Restaurant of the year South West, Urban Tandoor (Bristol)

Restaurant of the Year North & East London, Tayyab’s Restaurant

Restaurant of the year South & West London, Chak 89 by Frank Khalid

Restaurant newcomer of the year London, Chakra by Arjun Verma

Restaurant newcomer of the year North West, Ziya Restaurant Manchester

Restaurant of brand of the year UK, Akbar’s by Shabir Hussain

Catering Of The Year, Madhu’s

Chef of the year 2017, Aurangzeb Alamgeer

Food Products & Supplier of the year, Al Noor Foods

Cash & Carry of the year, Elbrook Cash & Carry

Drink brand of the year, Bulldog Energy Drink by Dr Rami Ranger CBE

Lifetime Achievement Award, Mehboob Hussain

Food Products & Distributer of the year, Manchester Super Store

Portsmouth girl wins top scholarship

Ishal Mahmud, 11, has secured a scholarship to join St Swithun’s School in Winchester (Photo: Momtaj Begum)

Nadine Osman

An 11-year-old girl from Portsmouth has secured a full scholarship to study in one of the country’s top girls’ boarding having attained full marks in her SATs exams.

Ishal Mahmud who is a member of Mensa, the high IQ Society, after scoring in the top one percent of the population in their approved tests, spoke to The Muslim News of her joy in securing a full scholarship to join St Swithun’s School in Winchester.

Dedicated Ishal Mahmud dubbed the ‘British Malala’ has achieved 100 per cent attendance every year since starting Fernhurst Junior School.

It’s not only academic excellence that sets Ishal apart from her peers, Ishal has raised money for Children in Need, Comic Relief and Sports Relief. Her fundraising efforts were rewarded with a head teacher’s achievement award. She is now setting up a charity to help other disadvantaged children to secure places in the country’s top schools.

Ishal’s mother Momtaj Begum of St Augustine Road, Southsea, spoke of the family’s pride and difficulty in securing Ishal a top education. “I am a disabled mother of two and my husband is a taxi driver, we have tried to do whatever we can to support our child in her aspirations and we are so proud of all her achievements. It has not been an easy journey for Ishal but no barrier has been able to halt my daughter.”

“As a disabled person it was never going to be sustainable to continue supporting my child in taking part in as much as she has till today,” she added.

One of the many perks Ishal will enjoy in the £10,000 a term school is world class music lessons. Ishal is a grade 5 pianist, grade 4 organist and grade 3 guitarist, all of which St Swithun’s will be paying for her to continue.

Ishal is also a keen equestrian being a member of the British Pony Club as well as a member of the North Sea Swimming Club, a Young Portsmouth Ambassador and a St John’s Ambulance Cadet.

Ishal who says she hopes to become a lawyer said, “I cannot wait to get stuck in and expand my academic wings whilst developing my passion for playing the organ, piano, singing, horse riding and trying out many other new activities like archery and baking. ”

GCSE and A-LEVEL Honour Roll

A sample of 374 students of the many Muslim students across the country who have excelled in the GCSE and AS/A-Level exams this year. Institutions and students are listed alphabetically.

New numerical grade boundaries:

Numerical grades for English Language, English Literature and Maths have been introduced.

9, 8 & 7 equivalent to A* or A
6, 5 & 4 equivalent to B or C
3, 2 & 1 equivalent to D, E, F or G

Grade Presentation Key:

Numerical grade : 7×2 = Numerical grade attained multiple times i.e. 7, 7.
Traditional grade: 2A* = Letter grade attained multiple times i.e. A*, A*.
Note: All grades are for GCSE exams unless stated otherwise.

 

Afifah School, M16:
Attika Alferjani 6x2, 5, A*, A, 3B, 3C; Aysha Mughal 6, 5x2, A, 2B, 4C; Fatima Limbada 5x2, 4, 2A, 4B, C; Hira Rasheed 7x2, 6, 2A*, 3A, 3B; Isha Azam 6, 5, 4, 3B, 3C; Kashmala Anwar 8, 7, 6, 3A, 4B, C; Khadija Sadia 5x3, A, 2B, 4C; Rayaan Warsame 5x3, B, 3C, 2D; Safah Mahmood 7, 6, 4, 2B, 3C.

Al-Burhan Grammar School, B11:
Aishah Zamir 9, 6, 5, A*, 2B; Faheema Salahuddin 6x2, 5, A*, A, 2B; Fatimah Zahra 6x2, 5, A*, A, 2B; Fiza Aslam 6x2, 5, A*, 3B; Hana Ahmed 7x2, 6, 3B; Hannah Mahmood 7, 6, 5, A*, 4B; Hina Amjad 6, 5x2, 2A, 2B; Ikra Shabir 6x3, A*, 3B; Khizra Sharif 7x2, 6, 2A*, 3A, B; Mariam Khatun Ali 7x3, A*, 2A, 2B; Maryam Mahmood 6, 5x2, A*, A, 4C; Mehnoor Mughal 8x2, 7, A*, 2A, 2B; Muneefa Aslam 8, 7, 6, A*, 5B; Nimra Jabeen 8, 6x2, 2A, 2B; Sana Zaheer 7, 6, 5, A*, 3A; Sjebiena Fatima Akbar 6x2, 5, 2A, 2B; Zayna Ali 8x3, 4A*, 2A, B; Zeinab Barre 9, 8, 7, A*, 4A.

Al-Khair Secondary School, CR0:
Abdullah Nabeel Ul-Haq 9, 8A*, A; Fareeha Ikram 9, 2A*,5A, 2B; Fojilun Hussain 9, A*, 4A, 4B; Khadeeja Abdus-Samad 2A*, 5A, 2B; Maryam Siddiq 9, 2A*, A, 2B; Mukhlis Abubacker 3A*, 2A, 3B; Nadeem Harris 2A*, 2A, 4B; Sumayyah Imran 9x2, 10A*.

Alperton Community School, HA0:
Abdirahman Hassan 9, 8, 7, 4A*, 3A; Hamza Ahmadi 9x2, 6, 8A*, 2A. A-Levels: Hussein Abdullahi 3B; Iqra Butt A, 2B; Iqra Pangarkar A*, 2A; Muhammad Ali Shah A*, 2A; Najma Ahmed 3B; Omaima Ali 3A*; Shahir Ahmadi 2A*, A; Tamanna Mukarram A*, 2B.

Ayesha Siddiqa Girls School, UB1:
Hawa Ahmed 6x3, 5B, 2C; Maria Khalif 8, 7, A*, 4A, 3B; Ruun Osman 8, 6, 5A, 5B, C; Zainab Azeem 7, 6, 5, 6A, 2B.

Brondesbury College For Boys, NW6:
Abdullahi Haji 8x3, 2A*, 5A, B, C; Ahmed Sherif Khalifa 8, 7, 5, A*, 6A, B; Al-Shagga Ahmed 9, 8, 7, 2A*, 5A, 2B; Ismail Hassan 9, 8x2, A*, 7A, C; Omar Hawwa 9, 8, 7, A*, 6A, B; Said Ali 9, 7, 6, A*, 6A, B; Sulaymaan Ishtiaq Khan 9, 8x2, A*, 7A; Uwais Hassan Shahid 8x3, 5A*, 2A, B.

Collingwood College, GU15:
Fazal-e-Momin Syed 9, 8, 7, 7A*, Distinction*, 4A, B, D.

Copthall School, NW7:
Daniyah Ahmed 9x2, 7, 2A*, 4A, 2B; Fatima Mughal 9, 8x2, 3A*, 4A, B; Mayar Mohamed 9x2, 8, 6A*, 2A; Nabeeha Toufiq 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A. A-Levels: Iqra Shahzad A*, 2A, B; Nadia Nafakh 3A; Rija Faruqui 2A, B; Samira Sharif 3A.

Crown Hills Community College, LE5:
Aasiya Ravat 9x2, 8, 3A*, 3A; Abdillahi Mohamoud 7, 6x2, A, 5B; Adnan Patel 8, 7, 6, 5A, B; Aliza Khot 9, 8, 7, A*, 4A, B; Gulnaaz Aadilkhan 9, 6x2, 5B, 2A; Hasan Patel 8, 7, 6, A*, 2A, 3B; Kausar Akuji 7, 6x2, 3A, 3B; Khadeejah Patel 8, 6x2, 4A, 3B; Muhammed Buma 8x2, 7, 3A, 3B; Rahima Patel 8, 6x2, 3A, 2B; Saleha Khalifa 9, 8, 7, 2A*, A, 2B; Tayabah Nazir 9, 8x2, 7A*; Yasmin Haidar 6x3, 4A, 2B.

Deenway Montessori School & Unicity College, RG1:  Cambridge IGCSE:
Minal Manan 6, 5, Merit; Ruqayyah Karim 9x2, 4A*, 3A; Summia Islam A, B, C.

Dixons Trinity Academy, BD5:
Abdul Gilani 9x2, 7, 3A*, 3A; Adam Hussain 8x2, 7, 4A, 3B; Adil Ellahi 8x3, A*, 6A; Ahrus Asim 9, 7, 6, 6A*, A; Aimman Sajjad 8, 6x2, A*, 4B, C; Aleena Ahmed 7x2, 6, 5B, C; Alisa Ahmad 9, 7x2, 5B, 2C; Aliyah Mahmood 9, 8x2, 5A*, 2A; Arman Khan 8x2, 7, 5A*, A, B; Haashim Haidari 8, 6, 5, 2A, 3B, 2C; Hanaa Khan 9x2, 7, A*, 3A, B; Hasan Abbas 7, 6x2, 2A, 3B, C; Hifsa Mahmood 9, 8, 7, 4A, 2B, C; Huzaifa Mohammad 8, 7x2, 5A, B, C; Huzaifah Khan 8x2, 7, 4A, B, C; Ibrahim Hanif 9, 8x2, A*, 6A; Ifrah Khan 8, 7, 6, 2A, 3B, C; Iqra Hussain 9x3, 7A*; Kathib Hussain 7x2, 6, 2A, 2B, 3C; Maaria Ali 7, 6x2, 4B, 2C; Maria Gilani 8, 7x2, 3A, 3B, C; Maryam Khan 9, 8x2, A*, 5A, B; Musahaf Ali Shah 8x3, A*, 4A, 2B; Muzaffar Hasan 8, 7, 6, 2A, 2B, 2C; Naila Khan 8, 7, 6, A, 3B, 2C; Naqia Shafiq 9, 8, 6, 2A, 2B, C; Sahar Shah 7x2, 6, A*, 3A, B, C; Tauheed Mahmood 8, 7x2, 5A, B, C; Usaamah Ibrahim 8x2, 7, A*, 4A, B; Usayd Shafi 6x2, 5, 2A, 4B; Uzair Khan 7x2, 6, 3A, 3B, C; Yusuf Khan 9x2, 7, 2A*, 5A; Zeyyan Hussain 9x2, 8, 3A*, 4A.

Dorothy Stringer School, BN1:
Kenan Taylor 6x3, 2A, 4B, C.

Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, HP6:
Mohammad Mahdi Karim 9x3, 7A*, A, (As-level) A.

Forest Gate Community School, E7:
Adil Haji 8, 7, 6, 2A*, 4A, 3B; Adnan Nekiwala 9, 8, 7, A*, 5A, 2B, C; Afifa Patel 9, 7, 6, 2A*, 2A, 5B; Aisha Said 7x2, 6, A*, 2A, 4B, C; Aminul Islam 6x3, A*, A, 4B, C; Anya Mebrouk 9, 8x2, 5A*, 4A; Arif Ahmed 8x2, 7, 2A*, 4A, B; Arzu Alam 9, 7, 6, 3A*, 5A; Ayaz Mohammed Patel 9x2, 7, 4A*, 5A, B, C; Emdadur Rahman 9, 8x2, A*, 5A, 2B; Enayet Uddin 9x2, 8, 2A*, 5A, 2B; Farhana Badshah 9x2, 7, 2A, 3A, 2B; Fuaad Ali 8x3, 2A*, 6A, B; Habibur Rahman 8, 7, 6, A*, 5B, C; Ilyas Eid 8x2, 7, 4A*, 6A, C; Kaashif Kamaly 9x2, 8, A*, 7A; Khadija Ahmed 9x3, 4A*, 5A; Marwa Haddou 9, 7x2, 4A*, 3A, 2B; Mohamed Bussuri 9, 8, 6, A*, 4A, 4B; Mohammad Ali 9x2, 8, A*, 6A, B; Mohammad Sulaimaan Choudhury 7, 6x2, A*, 2A, 5B; Mohammed Yahya 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A, B; Moosa Ali 9, 8x2, 6A*, 2A, B; Muhammad Bhutawala 9x2, 6, 3A*, 4A, 2B; Muhammad Haris 8x2, 7, 2A*, 2A, 4B, C; Muhammed Umar Sarfaraz 7, 6, 5, 4B, C; Muhtasim Choudhury 9x2, 8, 3A*, 6A; Najam Kashmiri 8, 7x2, 4A*, 6A, 2B; Rahim Miah 8x3, 6A*, 2A, C; Rayyan Chagani 9, 8, 7, 4A*, 5A; Ridhwaanah Khanom 9, 8x2, 2A*, 6A, C; Ridwan Ahmed 8, 7, 6, A*, 5A, 2B, C; Ridwan Mohammad 7x2, 3, A*, A, 4B, C; Rieva Karim 7x2, 6, A*, 4A, 5B; Sabrina Hossain 8, 6, 3, 2A*, 2A, 3B; Safeena Arshad 9, 7x2, A*, 4A, B; Shakib Ali 8, 7x2, A*, 4A, 4B, C; Sundus Sher 9, 7, 6, 3A, 5B, C; Tahmid Rahman 8x2, 6, 2A*, 5A, 2B; Timur Mahmud 8x3, 2A*, 4A, 3B; Yasin Shaikh 9x2, 8, 8A*, A; Zarvesha Rasool 9x2, 8, 2A*, 6A, B; Zayed Shalim 8, 7, 6, A*, 5A, 3B.

Fulham College Boys’ School, SW6:
Abdel Razzaq Fathy Abdel Aziz 8x2, 5, 2A*, 3A, 2B; Wajeed Rahim 9, 8, 7, A*, 2A, 3B; Younes Chaffa 8, 7x2, 3A*, 3A, B, (As-Level) D.

Harris Academy St John’s Wood, NW8:
Muhammad Yusuf Miah 9, 8x2, 5A*, 2A.

Heathcote School and Science College, E4:
Anil Yurtseven 8, 7, 5, A, 5B; Bahlla Karim 7, 6, 4, A*, 3B, C; Esra Dolen 6x2, 4, A, 4B, D; Faizaan Adia 7, 6x2, 2A*, 3A, B; Leena Sadouki 9, 8x2, 2A*, 5A; Mohammad Rahman 7, 5x2, 4A, B, C; Mohammed Rohim 9, 6, 5, 3A, 3B; Mohammed Yaqoob 7, 6, 5, 4A, B, C; Sonia Siddiq 8, 7, 6, 4A, 2B; Taha Raza 8, 7x2, A*, 3A, 2C; Zaahir Hussain 8, 7, 5, 2A, 3B, Distinction; Zainab Sohail 6x2, 4, 3B, 2C. A-Levels: Hafsah Gulabkhan 3B; Mohammed Naveed 3B, (As-Level) A; Sehar Sami 3B, (As-Level) A; Yousef Maait 4A*, (As-Level) A. As-Level: Danyal Raza 4A; Hamza Khalid 3A, B; Mohamud Elmi 3B, C. BTEC: Alle Rizvi x3Distinction; Mohamed Maxamed x2Distinction*, Distinction; Zayaan Hussain x3Distinction*.

Jameah Girls Academy, LE5:
Fatima Hussein 9, 7, 6, 5A, B; Firdous Alam 9x2, 7, 5A*, 3A; Maariya Pirmahomed 9x2, 7, 2A*, 4A; Ruqayyah Nanabawa 8, 7x2, A*, 2A, 5B; Safia Mohammed 8x2, 7, 3A, 3B; Saira Mughal Yamazaki 8x2, 7, A*, 4A, B; Suhaymah Patel 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A.

Jamiatul Uloom Al-Islamia, LU3:
Aaqib Akhtar 8x3, A*, 5A, B; Muhammad Tanveer Lais 6, 5x2, 6A, 2B.

Kennet School, RG19:
Bilal Zahid 9, 7 x2, 3A*, 3A, B, 2C.

King Ecgbert School, S17:
Asad Arij 9x3, 6A*, Distinction*, A,; Khan Daanish 8x2, 7, 4A*, 3A, Distinction*; Mahmood Imrose 9, 7, 5, 3A*, 2A, B, Distinction*; Miyan Habiba 9x3, 7A*, Distinction*; Mohammad Samar 8x2, 6, 2A*, Distinction*, 4A,, L2 Distinction*; Rashed Um-Kalsum 9, 7x2, 2A*, Distinction*, 3A, B, L2 Distinction*.

Lantern of Knowledge Independent Boys Secondary School, E10:
Abaid Dar 7x2, 6, 3A, 4B, C; Abu Bakr Musaddiq 7, 6x2, A, 5B, 2C; Adullah Ahmed 7, 5, 4, A, 6B, C; Aminur Rahman 8, 6, 5, 6A, B, C; Bilaal Hussain 8, 6, 4, 3A, 4B, C; Ibrahim Ibn Suba 7x3, 7B, C; Mahfuz Ali 8, 7, 6, 2A, 5B, C; Minhaj-Ul-Aabideen 8, 6x2, 4A, 3B, C; Raheb Ahmed 7, 6, 4, 3A, 3B, C, D; Sabbir Bepary 8x2, 6, 6A, 2B; Tanvir Uddin 7x2, 6, 2B, 5C, D; Tawheed Ahmed 7, 6x2, 5B, 2C, D; Usyed Shahzad 7x2, 5, 6B, 2C; Yasser Ahmed 8, 7, 5, A*, 3B, 2C, 2D.

Leicester Community Academy, LE5:
Abdirahman Jama 7, 6, A, 2B, 2C, D; Anisa Javed 6,4, 2A, 2B, D, F; Gulam Muhammad Mulla 7, 6, 2A, 2B, 3C; Ibrahim Vazifdar 8, 6, 2A, 3B, C, D; Mohammed Chasawala 6x2, A*, A, 2B, 3C; Salma Ali 6, 5, A, 3B,, 2C; Umair Girach 7, 4, 2A, 3C, 2D; Uzair Mahomed 7, 5, A, B, 3C, D; Zahra Patel 7, 6, A*, 3A, B, 2C.

Limehurst Academy, LE11:
Ayaan Rahman 8, 7, 6, A*, 5A, B; Fahmida Choudhury 8x2, 7, 4A*, 2A, B; Mohammad Ishaq Hossain 8, 7x2, A*, 4A, B, C; Samina Begum 9, 8, 5, 2A*, 3A, B; Sayed Chowdhury 8x2, 7, 3A*, A, 2B; Tanvir Ahmed 9, 8, 7, 6A*, A ; Tanzim Choudhury 9, 8, 7, 2A*, 3A, B; Thasina Khan 8, 6x2, 3A*, 3A, B.

 
Sumayyah Loonat of Manchester Islamic High School for Girls with her mother and (left) Head Teacher Mona Mohamed celebrated attaining 9(x3), 5A*, A in her GCSEs

Manchester Islamic High School for Girl, M21:
Aisha Alkali 8x2, 6, 2A*, 3A, B; Bismah Ajmal 7x2, 5, A*, 4A, 2B; Hafsa Qasim 9, 8, 6, 4A*, 2A; Hafsa Rana 9, 7x2, A*(+Distinction), 7A*; Iman Feroze 8x2, 5, A*, 3A, 2B; Khadeeja Nauman 8, 6, 5, 2A*, 4A; Malaaika Zulqurnain 7x2, 6, 5A, B; Mariam Obaide 7, 6x2, A*, 4A, 2B; Maryam Bashaeb 8x2, 7, 5A*, A; Maryam Mansoor 7x2, 6, 5A, B; Michelle Sajjad 9, 8, 6, 2A*, 3A, 3B; Monica Sultana 8, 7, 5, A*, 3A, B; Ruba Ibrahim 7x2, 6, 2A*, 4A; Safa Mahmood 6, 5, 4, 4A, 2B; Saja Al-Jibouri 8x2, 7, 3A*, 2A, 2B; Sajida Ahmed 7x2, 6, 5A, B; Sana Waheed 7x2, 6, A*, 3A, B; Sarah Khan 8, 6, 5, A*, 5A, 2B; Sumayyah Loonat 9x3, 5A*, A; Waddiyah Ahmed 9, 7x2, 4A*, 2A; Zoya Akhtar 6x2, 5, A*, 3A, 2B.

Olive Secondary Boys School, BD3:
Aiysha Arshad 6x2, 4, B, 2C; Azam Hussain 6, 5x2, A*, A, 2B, 2C; Hassan Mohammed 6, 5x2, 3B, 2C; Iqra Ahmed 7, 6, 5, A*, 4B; Iqra Bibi Khan 7, 6, 4, A, 4C; Manfa Khan 6, 4x2, A, 3C; Sidra Aslam 8, 7, 6, A, 4B; Zahra Shafiq 6x3, A, 3B, 2C; Zara Ali 6x2, 4, 2B, 2C.

Plashet School, E6:
Afnaan Firthous 9, 8x2, 2A*, 5A, B; Amarah Saleem 9, 8x2, 2A*, 5A, B; Anika Khair 9x2, 8, 6A*, 2A; Ayesha Kamran 9, 8x2, 3A*, 5A; Bushra Patel 8x2, 7, A*, 6A, B; Hanaa Mohammed 8, 7x2, 3A*, 3A, B; Humairah Ahmed 9x2, 7, 5A*, 2A, B; Iqra Khan 9x2, 8, A*, 6A, C; Isba Rahman 7x2, 6, A*, 6A; Khadija Saadia 9x2, 8, 3A*, 5A; Laela Rahman 9, 8x2, 5A*, A, B, C; Maariya Rahman 8x2, 7, A*, 5A, B; Maisha Alam 8x2, 5, 5A*, 3A; Mariyam Abdul-Mukith 9, 8x2, 2A*, 6A; Mehzabeen Hairsoo 8x2, 7, 3A*, 4A, C; Muhsina Abdulhaq 9, 8x2, 5A*, 3A; Muna Abdulrahman 8x2, 7, 4A*, 3A, B; Raisa Nooraeen 9, 7x2, A*, 6A, B; Rashida Uddin 9x2, 8, 6A*, 2A; Safiyyah Sultana 9, 7, 6, 4A*, 3A, B; Saira Ahmed 9x2, 7, 5A*, 3A; Saiyara Zaman 9, 8x2, 3A*, 5A; Seema Bosor 6, 7x2, 2A*, 5A, C; Tahmina Rahman 9, 7x2, 4A*, 3A, B; Zainab Hussain 8x2, 7, 3A*, 3A, B; Zanab Shams 9x2, 7, 7A*, A.

Portsmouth Academy for Girls, PO1:
Izah Fatima 7x2, 5, 2A*, Distinction*, 3A, B.

Rabia Girls’ School, LU4:
Nusayba Abbas 8, 7x2, A*, 3A, B; Saalihah Husain 9, 7 x2, 3A*, 2A.

Rochester Grammar School, ME1:
Asfia Mohsin 8, 7x2, 3A*, 4A, C; Eissma Hussain 9, 8, 7, 5A*, 3A; Tamara Miah 7, 6 2A*, 4A, B.

Sir George Monoux College, E17  – A-Levels:
Aahad Akhtar 2A*, A; Ashar Rahim A*, A, B; Haroon Suleman A*, 2B; Suniya Iqbal A*, 2B. BTEC: Shereen Rehman 3Distinction*.

St Margaret’s CoE Academy, L17:
Zaaher Ali 8, 5x2, A*, 6A, 2B.

Tawhid Boys School, N16:
Abdi Hadi Kahin 7, 6x2, 2A, 4B, 2C; Abdullahi Ali Abdulle 8, 6, 5, 3A*, 3A, B; Mohsin Imran Amerat 8, 6, 5, 4A, 3B.

Tayyibah Girls School, N16:
Aisha Mapara 9x2, 7, 2A*, 6A; Hibah Seedat 9, 8, 7, 6A, 3B; Khadeejah Hassan 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A.

The Bemrose School, DE22 A-Levels:
Aisha Khalil Distinction*, Distinction, Merit; Sehrish Asghar Distinctionx2; Zeshaan Ahmed Distinctionx2.

The Bridge Academy, E2 – A-Levels:
Tauseef Ahmad A*, A, B.

The Crypt School, GL2:
Ahmed Arif 7, 6x2, 3A*, 3A, B; Daanyaal Fadra 7, 6, 5, 2A*, 2A, B, 2C; Husnain Ahmed 6, 5x2, 5B, C; Jazib Ahmad 8, 6, 5, 5A*, A, B, C; Mohammed Rahman 6x3, A, 5B, C; Muhammad Haris Amin 7x2, 5, 4A, 3B; Muhammad Hassanjee 7, 5x2, 3A, 4B; Munawwar Motara 7, 6, 5, A*, A, 4B, C; Samiullah Wazir 8, 6, 5, 3A*, A, 2B, C; Saugat Rai 7x2, 4, A*, 4A, B, C; Unays Qureshi 7, 6, 5, 3A*, A, 3B; Yaseen Goga 7, 6, 4, A, 5B, C.

 

Nudrat Nawar from Upton Court Grammar School aced her GCSE’s with a whopping 9(x3) & 8A*

Upton Court Grammar School, SL3  –  A-Levels:
Adam Wall 2A*, A; Aisha Mughal A*, 2B; Ali Al-Hilly 2A, B; Amena Rafiq 2A, B; Azum Ali 2A, C; Daniel Hadad 3A*; Minhal Khan A*, A, B; Mohammad Qureshi 2A*, C; Shoaib Ali 3A; Tawkir Kamali A*, A, B; Yusif Alhany A, 2B. GCSE: Adil Shaikh 9, 6x2, A*, 5A, C; Adnan Mirza 8x2, 7, 2A*, 3A, B, D; Amber Khan 9, 8, 7, 3A*, 3A, 2B; Amirah Limbada 9x2, 8, 5A*, 3A; Arham Ansari 9x3, 8A*; Faatimah Zamir 9, 7x2, 7A*; Haleena Kabir 8x2, 6, 6A, B; Hammam Bader 9, 8, 4, 4A*, 3A, C; Huseiyn Turacli 9, 7x2, 4A*, 4A; Imran Ashraf 9, 8, 7, 4A*, 4A; Minahal Ahmed 9, 8, 7, 7A*, A; Nadim Mohammed 9x2, 8, 5A*, 3A; Nudrat Nawar 9x3, 8A*; Omid Hussaini 8, 7, 6, 3A*, 2A, C; Raja Kamal 9, 7, 6, 5A*, A, C; Rana Galgal 9, 8, 7, 3A*, 4A; Sanabil Bader 9, 8, 7, 3A*, 5A; Sehar Ahmad 9, 7, 6, 2A*, 6A; Sharjeel Malik 7, 6x2, 5A, 2C; Shria Malik 8x2, 7, 2A*, 5A, C; Sulekha Harris 9x2, 7, 6A*, 2A; Yaman Bader 9, 8, 6, 4A*, 3A, B; Yumna Sarwar 8x2, 7, A*, 7A; Zoya Hassan 9, 8x2, 8A*.

Woodford County High School, IG8:
Amaara Dar 8, 7, 6, 2A*, 4A, B; Anjum Ali 9x3, 6A*, 2A; Areeja Salahuddin 9x2,8, 7A*; Jameela Ali 9x3,5A*, 3A; Mosfirat Nasreen 9x2, 8, A*, 2A, 4B; Sadia Rahman 9x3, 7A*; Yushra Rashid 9, 8x2, 6A*, 2A; Zara Ali 9x2, 8, 5B, 2C. A Level: Aamina Yousaf 2A, B; Khadijah Malik A, 2B; Magda Farghaly A*, 2B; Maisha Bhuiyan 3A; Nusaiba Karim 2A*, A; Rida Wasim A, 2B; Sabah Mohammed 2A*, A; Sanaa Gangat A*, 2A.

Elham Asaad Buaras | © The Muslim News 2017

Mosque attendance correlates with social engagement, UK study finds

London Central Mosque (Photo: Tawelsensei/ Wikipedia Creative Commons)

Hamed Chapman

The more UK Muslims practise their religion and attend mosques, the more engaged they are with society and feel more British not less, according to an academic study.

“Muslims who attend mosques do not live separate lives away from mainstream society,” the research found. It was carried out by Siobhan McAndrew and Maria Sobolewska, lecturers at the Universities of Bristol and Manchester respectively.

Their paper, entitled Mosques and political engagement in Britain: participation or segregation, were the opposite to what was described as “popular myths” about mosques in the UK.

“Media portrayals have depicted some mosques as fostering traditionalism, radicalisation, and cultural divides between British Muslims and others,” it says.

The police, Home Office and Charity Commission as well as sections of the media claim mosques are used for radicalising extremism.

“With the belief that Islam constitutes a threat to British values so widespread, the possibility that mosques may play an important role in the integration of Muslims into British society and politics may appear counter intuitive.”

“We find no evidence that more frequent mosque attendance hinders the political integration of British Muslims and some that it promotes it. To the extent that mosque attendance encourages or at least does not prevent social contact with other ethnic groups and a sense belonging, lower attendance correlates with a sense of disengagement, perceived Islamophobia, and a sense of social distance.”

It was frequent attendees who were “as likely as those who do not attend to feel that they have something in common with other British people; more likely to have friends outside their ethnic or religious group; and overall more likely to engage in mainstream British politics given rates of engagement among British Muslims which are already high,” the study found.

“In sum, our results support an optimistic interpretation of Muslim civic and political integration in Britain and the pro-social benefits of religious involvement.”

Instead, their report said, “it is the non-religious predictors, such as the perception of prejudice and the feeling of social distance from whites, that are a more solid predictor of political disengagement and oppositional engagement than religious involvement.”

As they pointed out, “a good deal of academic research shows that religious participation is generally pro-social: people who participate in communal religious events tend to be more active in civic and political associations, and have more social and political capital.”

Nonetheless, distrust of religious Muslims was found to remain high in a country whose politicians and media often portray mosque-attendance as linked to so called “radical Islam”.

The research referred to “when discussing radical Islam, integration and the role of mosques, politicians are often careful to emphasise that most Muslims in Britain are peace-loving and loyal Britons.” But it found that the evidence regarding public distrust of Muslims by non-Muslims, suggested such “caveats are empty in effect.”

“Regular attendance at a place of worship is good for fostering trust and civic activity, regardless of the faith community in question,” McAndrew said. “We also know from previous research that religious people are known to show higher support for existing political arrangements – in that sense, regular attendance is a force for integration. We accordingly were unsurprised to find these effects for British Muslims, just as they have been found for Christians and others.”

“Despite media and political discourse that Muslim religiosity promotes separateness, in our research, we found no evidence for this, and some that it actually promotes civic involvement and political integration. Moreover, the factors predicting disengagement are similar to those for people who are not Muslim: for example, there are strong generational differences,” he said.

 

Muslims well-integrated in Europe, new study confirms

Hamed Chapman

Muslims in Europe are well-integrated into mainstream society despite facing significant obstacles and resistance encountered along the way, a new study released by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany has found.

Religion Monitor 2017 disputes myths about claimed failures about Muslims to integrate, whether it be the language is spoken at home or everyday religious practices or even the supposed incompatibility of Islam to democracy and meritocracy which some right-wing groups espouse.

The representative survey carried out in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the U.K. found that second and third-generation Muslims had a better command of the national language, were much better educated and, despite continued discrimination, were also successful in the labour market.

Bertelsmann Foundation Director and expert on social cohesion, Stephan Vopel, underlined that contrary to claims put out by far-right politicians, Islam was not an impediment to successful integration in Europe.

“Islam is not an obstacle to integration. Muslims, even the highly religious, learn the new language and strive for higher education levels just as much as other immigrants,” he said at the launch of findings of the survey. “When integration stalls, the state framework conditions are usually the reason.”

France proved to be the most successful country for linguistic integration, followed by the UK. Over 90 percent of immigrant children in France have grown up with French as their first language, and 80 percent of Muslims born in the UK learned English as children.

Among second generation Muslims, less and less Muslim children were found to be leaving school before their 18th birthday. Nearly 67 percent stayed in school past their 17th birthday. Germany and Switzerland were named as the countries where Muslims were the most successful at integrating into the job market.

“In both these countries, the rate of gainful employment among Muslims no longer differs from that of the total population,” the report said. But it also emphasised that Muslims were earning significantly less, especially in Germany, as they were more often employed in low-wage positions.

Successful integration was particularly notable in increased social contacts between Muslims and non-Muslims, according to the report. “Seventy-five percent of Muslims regularly spend their free time with non-Muslims. The interreligious contact also increases with each generation, as does identification with the receiving country.” Overall, nearly all of those surveyed (94 percent) felt connected to the country where they live.

Despite the progress made in integration, the report revealed that Muslims who profess their faith and practice their religion often encounter discrimination in labour market as indicated by the gross disparity often in wages.

“So far, no country in Western Europe has found a convincing balance of equal opportunity and respect for religious diversity,” said author of the report, Yasemin El-Menouar. She added that highly religious Muslims faced more difficulty finding a job that corresponded to their qualifications.

While European governments have taken various initiatives to promote participation of immigrants in social and economic life, Muslims continue to encounter open rejection from as many as around one-fifth of the population, the survey found. Nearly 20 percent of Europeans interviewed for the survey said they did not want to have Muslims as neighbours.

Home Office suppressed positive reports on immigration

Sir Vince Cable has accused the PM of supressing up to nine expert reports (Photo: Creative Commons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Liberal Democrat Leader, Sir Vince Cable, has accused the Prime Minister of suppressing up to nine expert reports that found immigration has little effect on wages or jobs of UK workers.

Theresa May, who was the longest serving Home Secretary, has continually defended plans to enforce strong controls on European Union workers after Brexit by arguing they are needed to protect Britons in lower-paid jobs.

In a statement released on September 7, Cable said during his time as Business Secretary, “there were up to nine studies that we looked at that took in all the academic evidence. It showed that immigration had very little impact on wages or employment. But this was suppressed by the Home Office under Theresa May because the results were inconvenient.”

Sir Vince added: “I remember it vividly. Overwhelmingly it has been the case that overseas workers have been complementary rather than competitive to British workers. The exodus of tradespeople, NHS staff and tech industry workers shows the potential damage of an extreme Brexit.”

The claims come after the leak of draconian Home Office proposals for post-Brexit curbs on immigration, triggering a major political row.

The plans would strip all newly-arrived EU migrants of their rights to live permanently in the UK, imposing permits of between two and five years.

In her Conservative party conference speech last year, the PM said: “I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this. For someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair.”

However, the claim was rejected by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which argued immigrants also create jobs, expanding the opportunities for British workers.

Business leaders, defending the need for immigration, have argued that employment is at record levels, creating shortages in the UK workforce.

A spokesman for the Home Office told The Muslim News, “We published a joint report with BIS [The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills] back in 2014 when he was in charge of the Department which covered the evidence on labour market impacts of migration

We have also commissioned the MAC over the years to look at different migration routes and one such report found ‘a Small negative impact on the wages of the low paid.’”

Corbyn impressed by contributions of mosques

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader, Labour Party and Shokat Ali, Chair, British Muslim Friends of Labour
(Photo: Ahmed J Versi/Muslim News)

 

Ahmed J Versi

Labour Leader was “impressed” by mosques who are feeding the hungry across the country.

Jeremy Corbyn said he was “impressed” by “contributions made by mosques all over the country in ensuring that people who are undeservedly hungry are fed by you who care for them.”

He was speaking at the Eid al-Adha reception at the Labour Party Headquarters in London organised by British Muslim Friends of Labour on September 6. Corbyn said Eid is about “celebrating the values of Islam, the values of compassion, and helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

Criticising the Government on austerity he said his government would be that “cares for all and that we have a society that does not rely on food banks.” The Opposition Leader thanked the Muslim community who “give people at the time of crisis”, especially “those that rushed to the aid of others during the fire at Glenfell Tower fire.”

“That is the true spirit of what Eid is all about, what a community is all about.”

British Asian footballers numbers remain low

Nadine Osman

A new study has shown that British Black players have doubled since 1992 and the number of British Asians have remained consistently low in the Premier League.

Aston Villa’s Easah Suliman recently captained the England Under 19s team to victory at the European Championships is one of very few British Asians playing professionally.

Centre-half Suliman, who made his full debut for Aston Villa in the 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic on August 23, is already contracted to the club until 2019. He is also the only Muslim to have captained England at any age level and was recognised at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards last year.

The championships, organised by the Scottish Ethnic Minority Sports Association and in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Rangers Football Club and Celtic Football Club, were played from September 1 to 3 at Ibrox.

Explaining the level of exclusion of Asians footballers and coaches Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang, said; “There are over four million British Asians and football is the most popular participation sport but there have been only 5-10 British Asian professional footballers out of approximately 3000 players in recent years.”

He added, “It seems these players become invisible to the footballing bodies when transitioning into professional football. When it comes to coaching at an elite level too it is worrying. There is no Asian breakdown but the number of BAME coaches at UEFA B and above level is less than 9 percent. This is extremely disappointing and the football authorities need to examine whether they have the right infrastructure helping them to increase the British Asian numbers in professional football.”

Yunus Lunat, Immediate Past Chair of FA Race Equality Advisory Board, said, “It is concerning that the footballing authorities are continuing to fail to address the lack of opportunities at governance and administration and Boardroom level. It is this failure and the need to create positive role models that is one of the factors helping to feed the continued exclusion of Asians excelling and progressing in football.”

Lunat continued, “First generation Asian parents ensured their offspring attained qualifications rather than focus upon sport yet there have been little opportunities for this generation who are now into their prime working years. This is largely because of the closed recruitment process which recruits like for like and fails to recognise any transferable skills to allow opportunities for Asians to prove their worth.”

Cheadle Mosque share joy of Eid

Cheadle Mosque volunteers delivered giant cakes to the Police and Fire Services, Ambulance staff (Photo: Cheadle Mosque)

Harun Nasrullah

A team from Cheadle Mosque spent their Eid al-Adha “sharing the joy” with emergency services workers, charity volunteers and hospitalized children.

First up was the Cake Dash, Cheadle Mosque volunteers delivered giant cakes to the Police and Fire Services, Ambulance staff, Stockport Council, Manchester Airport and a local charity – Human Appeal International.

In a statement to The Muslim News, a spokesman for Cheadle Mosque explained the gesture, “We wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all those unsung heroes who give and care every single day.”

The teams also shared gifts with the Treehouse and Starlight children’s wards at Stepping Hill and Wythenshawe hospitals respectively.

Well over 120 gifts had been donated by the Mosque’s congregation for this cause in the days leading up to Eid. Gifts were also distributed to the older patients on wards B3 and B6 at Stepping Hill Hospital.

Usman Choudry, one of the trustees at the Mosque on Wilmslow Road told The Muslim News, “We were honestly overwhelmed by people’s generosity, we wish to thank them from the bottom of our heart.”

“There is no better feeling than being able to brighten up another’s day when they are going through a hard time – hence spending Eid sharing gifts with others and letting them know that we care is really important to us,” added Farooq Rafiq, one of the Mosque’s volunteers.

Bradford man distributes Eid gifts to hospitalised children

(Photo: Nazim Al)

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Bradford man, who was treated in hospital as a child for Tuberculosis, has handed out over 60 gifts to children in hospital Eid al-Adha. Manningham man Nazim Ali has been distributing gifts at Bradford Royal Infirmary’s children’s ward, twice a year for the past five consecutive years, to mark  Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

Explaining his motivation Ali told The Muslim News: “I spent a large part of my early childhood in the Children’s Ward in Bradford Royal Infirmary due to my struggle with Tuberculosis and I know too well how at times you feel the loneliness and miss being at home with your family and playing with your friends. I am thankful for the amazing care of the BRI Children’s Ward I made a full recovery and this annual Eid Gifts initiative is a means for me to give something back and appreciate what I have that much more.”

The cuddly toys, games and playsets were sponsored by Shiraz Ahmed, Managing Director of Bradford-based Saveco Cash and Carry. “I commend Shiraz Ahmed of selflessly purchasing all these beautiful Eid Gifts for the children so that they can rejoice because the period of Eid is all about thinking of the most vulnerable and taking measures to support them. Eid is a community celebration,” said Ali.

Ahmed said, “We have sponsored a number of initiatives ranging from raising money for Syrian Refugees to sponsoring the Curry Circle Project Soup Kitchen once a month for which I also volunteer for since November 2016. We have gone from strength to strength and are always interested in supporting local initiatives. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “I love children. They are content with the least of things, and gold and mud are the same in their eyes.”

Elaine Drake, the fundraising assistant for the Bradford Hospitals Charity, said: “We are grateful to Shiraz and Nazim for once more providing these fabulous Eid gifts which will certainly cheer up the children knowing there are people out there thinking of them. We look forward to Shiraz and Nazim’s continued support and are grateful for all that they do.”

Ali has over 18 years of community services and fundraising achievements under his belt. Earlier this summer Ali ran the Hull 10k while fasting on one of the hottest days of the year, raising £11,000 so far to help Syrian orphans. Ali has now raised almost £120,000 for charitable causes by taking part in marathons, other runs and multiple charity mountains climb over the last 11 years.

EXCLUSIVE: Internet companies need to go ‘further and faster in automating detection and removal of terrorist content online’

Lord Ahmad at the UN meeting (Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

Ahmed J Versi

Prime Minister, Theresa May, told the United Nations General Assembly on September 20 that tech firms needed to develop the capacity to take down terrorist-related material in two hours.

However, tech and social media companies responded by saying that they already have countermeasures in place against the terrorists using their websites.

Brian Fishman, who manages Facebook’s global counter-terrorism policy insisted in an interview published a few hours later by the CTC Sentinel, the journal of the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point, that companies such as his were already putting great effort into this work.

May wants the internet firms to “develop new technological solutions to prevent such content being uploaded in the first place,” she said on the sidelines of the UN meeting with French President, Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and tech companies Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter.

The Government is insisting that more needs to be done. In an exclusive interview with The Muslim News from the UN after meeting of preventing terrorist use of the internet, Foreign Office Minister, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said Daesh “related extremist content was online for months before it got removed.” May said such material should be taken down in two hours. “The sooner we can remove the material the more effective it is,” said Lord Ahmad.

“Terrorist groups are aware that the links to their propaganda are being removed more quickly, and are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead,” May told the tech companies. She emphasised that the industry needs to go “further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online and developing technological solutions which prevent it being uploaded in the first place.”

Lord Ahmad said the internet companies are already tackling extremists online. Twitter suspended 299,649 accounts between January 1 and June 30 this year, 75% of accounts were suspended before their first Tweet, he said.

Even if and after terrorist groups are closed down in the mainstream internet they are able to reactivate their accounts under a different name or find new life on the Dark Web. “That is why we need internet companies on board because they are the ones with technological expertise and insight into how to tackle this,” said Lord Ahmad.

Research by criminologists has shown that denying the extremists groups online platforms does not prevent their presence online. Attempts to shut down hate speech online “may cause a backlash, worsening the problem and making hate speech groups more attractive to marginalised and stigmatised groups.” (Can taking down websites really stop terrorists and hate groups? in conversation.com September 15).

Lord Ahmad argued that this “should not distract us from the fact that we as Government with the society and private sector from cutting off oxygen on online extremist narrative.” Even though Facebook claims it removes only extremist materials from its site, it has removed legitimate sites claiming they don’t follow “Facebook Community Standards.”

For example, Rohingya activists in Myanmar and Western countries say Facebook has been removing their posts documenting the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people in Myanmar. Their accounts are frequently suspended or taken down. (Daily Beast September 18)

Lord Ahmad explained that “we have to balance what is quite legitimate and use of social media to highlight violations and highlight legitimate viewpoints but at the same time ensuring we balance that with security needs and ensuring people are not radicalised.

 

Student wins Orwell Prize for account of Muslim life

Yasmin O’Mahoney with her father Kieran, brother Zak and mother Shahina (Photo:  Lewes Old Grammar School)

Nadine Osman

A talented Year 10 pupil from Lewes Old Grammar School won the George Orwell Literary Prize for her passionate account about modern-day life as a British Muslim.

15-year-old Yasmin O’Mahoney competed against 178 writers aged 13-18 to win the most prestigious national prize for political writing on June 27 for her essay ‘Different?’ at Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

The final round was judged by award-winning writer, journalist and Orwell Fellow, Nicci Gerrard, while George Orwell’s son, Richard Blair, presented Yasmin with her award on the day.

In a statement to The Muslim News Yasmin said: “I was up against some really tough competition so it was a great surprise to win. Hearing an Oxford graduate read the last three paragraphs of my essay was an unforgettable experience, and I was honoured when a Muslim family came up to me afterwards and said how deeply they’d been touched. I feel even more motivated to keep writing!”

‘Different?’ was written in response to the competition’s brief, which asked entrants to write about the theme of ‘identity’.

The essay chronicles her experience growing up in a multicultural family, and includes a vivid depiction of a family dinner where the physical differences between her Irish father and Pakistani mother are thrown into relief.

The winning entry also records how Yasmin came to terms with her Asian appearance while living in a predominantly white area, and discusses the misrepresentation of Muslims in the media by contrasting stereotypes of Islam that she encounters in her daily life with firsthand memories of her grandparents.

Kieran O’Mahoney, Yasmin’s father, said: “We are so proud of Yasmin. She’s an avid reader – she has wall-to-wall shelves full of everything from Harry Potter to Shakespeare – and she’s always writing, so having heard about the competition from her uncle, she was very keen to enter the Prize. She wrote from the heart, and I think her passion for the subject is what makes the composition so powerful and beautiful. She has never been afraid to speak her mind and we learn from her on a daily basis”.

Her head teacher Robert Blewitt said: “Yasmin’s success serves as inspiration for other pupils and her writing offers a valuable insight into the diversity of culture in modern Britain. Her style is mature way beyond her years and we have high hopes for her future career.”

 

Community worker stars in Alzheimer’s Research UK video

Emdad Rahman raised funds for Running Down Dementia (Photo: Alzheimer’s Research UK)

Nadine Osman

An award-winning community worker is the star of a new charity video by the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Emdad Rahman, raised over £100 completing Running Down Dementia (RDA), a campaign by Alzheimer’s Research UK, last year.

The challenge encourages participants to run 100km over summer and raise £100 while linking their running app to the RDA website and competing in virtual leader boards.

Rahman is a dedicated advocate of RDA and runs across London wearing his RDA t-shirt and spreading the word about the challenge while posting pictures of his journey on social media.

The 41-year-old became passionate about the cause after seeing the devastating impact dementia has on families where he lives in Barking and Tower Hamlets where he works and volunteers. He also experienced dementia first hand when his relative was diagnosed. Emdad, who works as a civil servant, is a firm believer in inclusivity and said “frankly you can hop, skip or dance” your way to RDA’s 100km challenge.

He has been recognised for his work within the community: he is an MBE, a freeman of the City of London, and was a Paralympic torchbearer in London 2012, a Queen’s Baton Relay baton bearer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and recently won The Muslim News Awards for Excellence Al-Biruni in Community Relations for his charity efforts.

He has just recorded a video to help Alzheimer’s Research UK achieve its goal of a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.

In a statement to The Muslim News Rahman spoke of his pride in working to raise for Alzheimer’s Research: “It was absolutely fantastic shooting this campaign video. For many years dementia has been ignored by large parts of our community and even now it is unfortunate that some people feel stigmatised by the terrible effect dementia has on their lives. I’m very proud to have played a small part in raising such wonderful awareness and the response from everyone has been beyond terrific.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK Sporting Events Manager, Kenneth Foreman, told The Muslim News: “Emdad has been a wonderful advocate, championing Running Down Dementia and raising money along the way. We can’t thank him enough.”

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ and Boys’ schools top national progress table

Tauheedul Islam Girls High School & Sixth Form College is the county’s top school for progress (Photo: TIGHS)

Rida Shaban

Two Blackburn-based Muslim schools run by the same Trust have topped the Department of Education’s report for academic achievement.

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ and Boys’ schools, both run by the Tauheedul Education Trust, have overtaken grammar schools to occupy first and third places in the annual Progress 8 report. The exceptional improvement of their pupils’ grades has propelled them to the top of the Government’s newly introduced standards for judging schools.

When considering the average A*-C achievements in five or more subject including English and Maths, the Blackburn with Darwen area has consistently fallen short of the national average. This has significantly highlighted the exceptional achievement of the Tauheedul Islam schools as they have defied the apparent drawbacks of poor local averages and the disadvantaged backgrounds of pupils to score the top spots among the country’s schools.

Despite the state-funded Muslim schools leading the way in the Progress 8 report, grammar schools remain dominant in the Attainment 8 report, scoring the highest overall grades.

The schools pride themselves on the fact that they do not accept a disadvantaged background as an excuse for substandard performance.

Ninety-four percent of the girls from disadvantaged backgrounds achieved a ‘good pass’ in English and Maths and sixty-one percent of Tauheedul students from disadvantaged backgrounds achieved the English Baccalaureate, nationally only a tenth of such students achieve this.

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School & Sixth Form College Executive Principal, Hamid Patel, told The Muslim News: “As exams get tougher, the Government figures show that we are continuing to achieve amazing results with our students – regardless of their prior ability and background. Some of our most vulnerable learners – those who have performed poorly at primary school and those who are in foster care or from low-income families – have achieved so well.”

The new Progress 8 and the Attainment 8 measures have been introduced by the Government to compensate for the shortcomings of the antiquated system of measuring a school’s performance by the percentage of its pupils that achieve five GCSEs at A*-C including Maths and English. The Progress 8 compares the GCSE results of students who had the same starting point at the age of 11 across eight GCSE subjects. This is believed to be a fairer system as it judges the best schools based on how much they encourage their pupils to improve. It is hoped that this change will also provide an incentive for a broader range of subjects to be offered.

The new standards mean that schools are now judged based on how much their students improve rather than only their attainment. However, this has come under criticism as grammar school pupils almost always exceed their expectations, meaning the new system may favour grammar schools disproportionately.

 

2016 TOP TEN SCHOOLS FOR PROGRESS 8

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School, Blackburn;
The Steiner Academy, Hereford;
Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School, Blackburn;
Harris Academy, Battersea;
St Andrew’s Catholic School, Leatherhead;
Ark King Solomon Academy, London;
The City Academy, Hackney;
Harris Girls’ Academy, East Dulwich;
Sheffield Park Academy, Sheffield;
Outwood Academy Portland, Worksop.

Urgent need to engage with Muslim community, Govt told by terror reviewer

Hamed Chapman

Not for the first time the British Government is being warned to start to build more meaningful relations with Muslims instead of driving them away from authorities seeking to protect the UK.

The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill, found that “the lack of meaningful engagement from the central or local government in the communities I visited was palpable.”

“The need to address the feeling of lack of engagement with these communities needs urgent attention,” he said in his latest annual report that followed a series of terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, including outside Muslim Welfare House mosque in Finsbury Park.

“A more proactive role ought to be taken by Government at all levels to address wider concerns, and thereby to avoid the perception of engagement with these communities only when things have gone wrong,” he warned, adding that only the response to the Finsbury Park terror attack was viewed as positive.

His warning echoed the findings of a two-year report entitled ‘Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All’ carried out by the Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation & Public Life.

“There is a broken relationship that needs to be resolved, and both parties need to be proactive in addressing this,” the Commission, chaired by former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, said.

The Independent Reviewer is required to produce one or more reports to Parliament every year concerning the annual operation of the relevant terrorism legislation in Britain. It was the first carried out by Hill since taking over the post in March.

In particular, he took aim at calls that have become so routine from senior politicians and most recently include Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, for Muslims to somehow to “do more” to fight extremism.

“Many in the Muslim communities are already doing a great deal and if they could be doing ‘more’, no one appears to have made clear what that means,” Hill wrote in a foreword to his report last month.

“Mosques and Muslim community centres feel under pressure to denounce terrorist attacks, even when the perpetrator/s come from entirely different parts of the country. Several participants expressed to me their sense that, were they to fail to issue messages denouncing every act of terrorism, they would be blamed for being complicit in those acts.”

The Independent Reviewer travelled to Bradford, Leicester, Manchester as well as London to hold meetings with Muslim communities. He said that many were already doing a great deal and “if they could be doing ‘more’, no one appears to have made clear what that means.”

Armed forces celebrate Eid with Muslim communities

Lord Howe giving his keynote speech. (Photo: MoD)

The Armed Forces Muslim Forum celebrated Eid with members of the Muslim community in HMS President on July 24.

Defence Minister Lord Howe, Chief of Defence People Lieutenant Gen Richard Nugee, and Commander Home Command Lieutenant General Bashall hosted the Eid dinner centred on the theme of being driven and united by common values and purpose. Lord Howe, in his keynote speech, highlighted how the Armed Forces and Muslim community often experience stereotyping and misconceptions.

“It is wonderful to be celebrating the end of Ramadan together, and in doing so celebrating the important role the Muslim community plays in our Armed Forces.

“There is far more that unites us than divides us, and by working together we are building a diverse force which is, therefore, a stronger force, enhancing our cultural and linguistic skills for our operations at home and abroad,” he said.

In his speech, Lord Howe praised the Muslim community for their generosity and resilience in the face of recent events, including the devastating Grenfell Tower and the Finsbury Park attack. The Minister then turned to the “unknown” humanitarian efforts of the Armed forces, where personnel show “the same values at home and on operations overseas”.

Brigadier Peter Cameron, from the Ministry of Defense Operation Directorate, gave a presentation on the UK Armed Forces’ recent humanitarian operations. Sergeant Ahmed Dhalai described his experience of helping to rescue migrants off the coast of North Africa, where he was able “to use his linguistic skills and cultural background to carry out his tasks compassionately, showing the importance of building a diverse force.”

Colonel Steve Davies spoke about his role in efforts to foster peace and security in South Sudan, and Major Naveed Muhammad spoke about his duties in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Government acted unlawfully by restricting boycotts of Israel, High Court rules

(Photo: Wiki Creative Commons/Takver)

Harun Nasrullah

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) acted unlawfully last year when it sought to restrict the ethical boycotts of Israel, the High Court ruled last month.

Judge Sir Ross Cranston accepted a judicial review and asserted that Secretary of State for DCLG, Sajid Javid, did not have the right to issue guidance to restrict councils from pursuing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel through their pension schemes.

Sir Cranston ruled the Government’s guidance fell outside its statutory powers because it was issued for non-pensions purposes. The ruling on June 22 upholds the right of councils to invest ethically without political interference from the Government.

The case, brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), concerned DCLG guidance affecting the Local Government Pension Scheme and how its funds should be invested.

The PSC asked the judge, Sir Ross Cranston, to rule that the guidance is legally flawed as one section prevents pension funds set up under the scheme from engaging in BDSs and the “ethical divestment” of companies accused of being complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Government lawyers argued that all the grounds of challenge lacked substance.

The judge said that the PSC objected to the limiting effect of the guidance on their ability to campaign around the investment of local government pension funds affecting the Palestinian people and the Occupied Territories.

PSC Chair, Hugh Lanning, said the ruling “is a victory for Palestine, for local democracy, and for the rule of law. Absolutely everyone has a right to peacefully protest Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights.”

Speaking to The Muslim News last year a spokesman for the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “The Government’s decision to ban councils and other public bodies from divesting from trade or investments they regard as unethical is an attack on local democracy.

“People have the right to elect local representatives able to make decisions free of central government political control. That includes withdrawal of investments or procurement on ethical and human rights grounds. This Government’s ban would have outlawed Council action against apartheid South Africa. Ministers talk about devolution, but in practice, they’re imposing Conservative Party policies on elected local councils across the board.”

Balfour and supporters of Palestine in London- a historical perspective

(L-R) Abdullah Yusuf Ali, (1872 – 1953) Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1875 – 1936)- (Photo Creative Commons)

Jamil Sherif

The Muslim socio-political activists based in London were taken aback when it became clear around 1916-17 that Palestine was under threat. Of course, there was an awareness that the strategic aim of the Western powers was to dismember the Ottoman Empire, but the fate of the Levant and Palestine was not yet on the radar.

The British interest in Palestine could have been perceived decades earlier, notably when Britain seized the opportunity to acquire a stake in the Suez Canal, only possible because of an overnight advance to HMG by Nathaniel Rothschild. This episode is well described by Lorenzo Kamel in his recently published Imperial Perceptions of Palestine.

Control of the Suez was essential to maintain the grip on India, the crown jewel of the Empire, which in turn required hegemony over the regions around the Suez, not just Egypt, but also the Southern Levant. Another, clearer signal could have been the Zionist lobby during the 1900 parliamentary election, when the English Zionist Federation sent a letter to all candidates asking for their overt support for the Zionist cause.

Lorenzo Kamel also notes the efforts of Chaim Weizmann in Manchester [Head of the Zionist Organization who later became Israel’s first President], during the 1905-6 general election, to brief Arthur Balfour, MP for Manchester East and Conservative Leader, of his vision for a Jewish national home.

Almost as soon as the Great War started in 1914, the Zionist lobby had a memorandum ready for Prime Minister Asquith regarding the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine – so the ground for the fateful Balfour Declaration in November 1917 was well-prepared.

The Muslim population in London at the time comprised the Lascars (merchant seamen), either on shore awaiting sign up or who had married locally and settled down, students often from British India enrolled at one of the Inns of Court and a handful of retired civil servants. Thanks to the budding lawyers, there were organisational efforts from the outset, with the Anjuman-I-Islam founded in London in 1886, “to promote social intercourse and the furtherance of mutual amity among the Moslems residing in the United Kingdom”. In 1903 it was renamed the Pan-Islamic Society of London, and adopted broader aims, for example, “to remove misconceptions prevailing among non-Muslims regarding Islam and Musulman” and “to render legitimate assistance to the best of its ability to any Muslim requiring it in any part of the world”.

Perhaps there were around 5,000 Muslim Londoners in the early 1900s, enough for the Pan-Islamic Society of London to organise “open air meetings” in Leicester Square Gardens and Peckam Rye. The activists in London were preoccupied either pressing Whitehall for political reform in British India or defending the Ottoman cause in intensely Turcophobic times.

The indefatigable Syed Ameer Ali, who had settled in England on his retirement from judicial service in Bengal, founded the London Mosque Fund in 1910 and the British Red Crescent Society a year later, to provide medical missions to aid the Ottomans under attack from Bulgaria and Serbia that year, “undeterred by the lack of official [British Government] response”, as noted by Professor Humayun Ansari in The Infidel Within. Palestine was not on the radar.

It fell on the astute and well-informed friend of the Ottomans, Marmaduke Pickthall, to raise the first alarm bells regarding Palestine in February 1915, much to the Establishment’s chagrin, when he had a hunch of the discussions going on between Sykes and Picot:

“Our unknown rulers seem, so far as I can learn, to contemplate a full partition of the Turkish Empire….England will have southern Mesopotamia and probably all the territory southward roughly of a line drawn on the map from a point little north of Samara on the Tigris to a point a little south of Jaffa on the coast of Palestine. The whole peninsula of Arabia would be included in her ‘sphere of influence’ for gradual absorption. France will have much of Syria.”

On July 9, 1917, the Central Islamic Society (previously the Pan-Islamic Society of London) organised a meeting at Caxton Hall in Holborn to voice concerns over Palestine. The CIS was led by an Indian student at the Bar, Mushir Husain Kidwai, and also the businessman and philanthropist of Islamic causes, Nazimuttujar Haji M. Hashim Ispahani. Pickhtall was the chief speaker – this was a few months prior to his public announcement of embracing Islam:

“I should regard it as a disaster if that country [Palestine] should be taken from the Muslim government. Must even that sacred ground be exploited by the profiteer? Must cinema places and cafés-chantants be established in Jerusalem and harlots walk the Via Dolorasa? The Muslims have preserved Jerusalem as a holy city; Palestine is a holy country, with all reverence. Would modern Christians, modern Jews, have done the like…if you want to have a new and terrible storm-centre for the world, hand over Palestine to any Christian Power…the state of things will be made worse by conquest, rousing ambitions where the population is so mixed. Among the recent Jewish immigrants into Palestine – the Jews of the Zionist movement as distinct from the native Jews – there is an extreme and narrow fanaticism which their enlightened co-religionists in Europe hardly, I think, realise. They hate the Christian and they hate the Muslim: and their supremacy would mean oppression for the other elements of the population. Their avowed intention is to get possession of the Rock (the so-called Mosque of Omar) and the Mosque El Aksa, which is the second Holy Place of El Islam – because it was the site of their Temple…”

Following the Great War, Britain and France were able to legitimise their control over former Ottoman Arab provinces through resolutions of the Paris Peace Conferences and the League of Nations. The author and journalist David Cronin, based on meticulous archival research, describes how the appointment of the British politician Herbert Samuel as first Chief Commissioner of Palestine ‘met with consternation, despondency and exasperation among Muslims and Christians, who were convinced that Samuel would be a partisan Zionist and that he represents a Jewish and not a British government ‘. A ‘Jewish Agency’ was officially endorsed, which would work with the mandate authorities ‘to encourage the close settlement by Jews on the land’. Even for the Zionist sympathiser Ronald Storrs, first military governor and the then civil governor of Jerusalem, ‘thinking Arabs’ would regard this as a colonisation, much ‘as Englishmen would regard instructions from a German conqueror for the settlement and development of the Duchy of Cornwall, of our Downs, commons and golf courses, not by Germans, but by Italians, “returning” as Roman legionaries’.

Haji Ispahani and colleagues established an Islamic Information Bureau in 1920, based at 25 Ebury Street SW1, which published a bulletin dealing with issues confronting the Muslim world, entitled the Muslim Outlook (later The Islamic News and The Muslim Standard), edited by Pickthall before he departed for Bombay in 1920. Most of the coverage was to do with Greek atrocities in Turkey, the Indian Khilafatist campaign and the terms of the Peace Conferences, but readers were not allowed to forget Palestine. The Arab Muslim leadership had betrayed their Palestinian brethren, but at least the London activists were now under no illusions of the dangers ahead,

Haji Ispahani and colleagues established an Islamic Information Bureau in 1920, based at 25 Ebury Street SW1, which published a bulletin dealing with issues confronting the Muslim world, entitled the Muslim Outlook (later The Islamic News and The Muslim Standard), edited by Pickthall before he departed for Bombay in 1920. Most of the coverage was to do with Greek atrocities in Turkey, the Indian Khilafatist campaign and the terms of the Peace Conferences, but readers were not allowed to forget Palestine. The Arab Muslim leadership had betrayed their Palestinian brethren, but at least the London activists were now under no illusions of the dangers ahead,

“May 12, 1921 – . . . Turkish rule was not very unpopular in Palestine before the war. The Turks were always ready to offer posts in their Civil Service to the sons of the best-known Arab notables of Palestine, and the municipalities were in Arab hands . . . the landowners dislike selling land to the Zionist, but in the future, as in the past, the embarrassed Muslim squire will be unable to refuse a good offer made by a Zionist . . . The Arabs, who form at least 85 per cent of the population of Palestine, object not unnaturally to hearing their country called Arez YIsrael – “The Land of Israel”. To speak before Muslims, as some young zealots have done, of the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple on the site now occupied by the Mosque of Omar is criminally foolish . . .

“June 9, 1921, reproducing a letter to the Editor of the Times from Mushir Hussain Kidwai – For centuries past there was perfect peace in that land which is sacred to three peoples, but most of all to Muslims who cherish the relics of all the Biblical Prophets besides those of their own faith. That peace has been destroyed since the occupation of the land by the British and the adoption of the Zionist programme. Obviously, it is the Jews of Mr Jabotinsky’s type [referring to a prominent hard-line Zionist and later ideologue for the Irgun militia], who urge forming Jewish armies who have misunderstood the Balfour Declaration. To found a national home for the Jews is different from allowing the aggressive and self-aggrandising ambitions of Zionists to have a full play at the expense of the people of other faiths who have possessed the lands and properties for the last thirteen centuries and even more . . . the same sentiments of attachment to the Holy Land run today in the hearts of Muslims all over the world which was in the heart of Salahuddin (Saladin). They will never tolerate any forced occupation of Palestine by the Jews or any other people. But this does not mean that they will be intolerant to other creeds and peoples . . . Muslim territories have been a home and refuge for the Jews since the time of their persecution in Spain. In Palestine itself, Jews have numerous autonomous communities . . . Pan-Judaism or Zionism should have no encouragement if Pan-Islamism has none at the hands of Great Britain.”

Winston Churchill upheld the Zionist cause and treated the Arab demands like those of a negligible opposition to be put off by a few political phrases and treated like children’. visiting Palestine as Colonial Secretary in 1921 he ‘rhapsodised about the “smiling orchids” in the Jewish settlement of Rishon Lezion, [and] he depicted indigenous Palestinians as backwards’. Cronin also quotes the opinion of a British army, ‘the Arab population has come to regard the Zionists with hatred and the British with resentment’. The British policy of appointing Zionist sympathisers to oversee the mandate and the actions of Jewish landowners to discriminate against Palestinian labourers in May 1921 prompted what was perhaps the first Palestinian demonstration with the loss of life.

During the 1930s, London’s socio-political activists worked mainly through the London Mosque Fund and the Muslim Society of Great Britain and from 1934 the Jamiat Muslimin, based in the East End. A number of broad-based coalitions to uphold justice in Palestine emerged in this period. The Chair of Trustees of the East London Mosque Fund, Lord Lamington, for example, chaired a meeting at the Hyde Park Hotel in July 1931, “under the auspices of the National League to express its friendship for a policy of fair play and justice in Palestine”. Speakers included Waris Ameer Ali, also a trustee of East London Mosque in the footsteps of his father, Syed Ameer Ali. An account describes the event, quoting the MP, Howard Bury:

“. . . all governments, Conservative as well as Labour, were to blame for injustices to the Arabs. Members of Parliament could not get at the truth. More courage was needed . . . the difference between Weizmann and Jabotinsky was that the former wanted to lay the foundation stone, while the latter wanted the State immediately, and that if at the next [forthcoming general] election the Conservatives should win, and Colonel Amery and Major Ormsby Gore should administer the Colonial Office, his party would have to change their Palestine policy, otherwise there might be a split in the Conservative Party.”

It was a policy rapidly leading to conflict, misery, and a series of ‘Arab Revolts’ from 1936. Prominent Palestinian leaders were banished to the Seychelles, while others sought asylum in Syria and Iraq. The Black and Tans – responsible for atrocities during Ireland’s war of independence a decade earlier – was redeployed and it dealt with Palestinian opposition in a similarly brutal way. Cronin records how the Whitehall mandarins resorted to black propaganda and ‘sugar coating’ the news, ‘rather than recognising that they were encountering resistance of an inherently political nature, the British portrayed that resistance as criminal . . . the British public was kept in the dark about the revolt. Rather than holding the powerful to account, the BBC facilitated censorship of its content . . . The censorship became more stringent as the revolt continued . . . the Foreign Office was perturbed at how newsreel depicting demolitions in Palestine was being shown in German and Italian cinemas, thereby “creating an unfavourable impression”.’

Twenty years after the Balfour Declaration, the Muslim Society of Great Britain, based in a flat in the salubrious environs of Eccleston Square in Pimlico, organised a ‘Palestine Public Meeting’ in November 1937, again at Caxton Hall, chaired by Sir Edward Beaumont. The following resolution was put:

“This public meeting, representing Muslims of all nationalities in the British Empire and other lands, held under the auspices of the Muslim Society of Great Britain, is of the considered opinion that the Balfour Declaration, as it stands, is in direct contravention of the solemn pledges given to the Arabs during the Great War and urges the British Government to secure its annulment; regards the present disquieting situation in Palestine as a result of the ill-advised policy of the Government in ignoring the just grievances and aspirations of the Arabs; is grieved to find that, on account of this persistently mistaken policy, the British people are fast losing the valuable sympathy and friendship of the Muslim world; views with deep concern and apprehension any partition of Palestine, and the transference in that country of the Holy Places from Muslim to non-Muslim control; and urges the Zionist leaders and the British Government, in the interests of all concerned, including the Jews themselves, to appease the bitter feelings, and the just indignation and resentment of the Arabs by all possible means and without further delay.”

A prominent Muslim personality of the times and soon-to-be-famous Qur’anic scholar, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, was also called on to speak at similar solidarity meetings that year. While on leave from his duties as Principal of Islamia College in Lahore he would stay at his family home by Wimbledon Common, giving his time to Muslim causes. In his case events in Palestine marked a sense of disappointment and disillusionment, because an Empire he had trusted was not following the due process of law. At venues such as the Near and Middle East Association in London, he would present a carefully argued case with the skill of a barrister. He deplored the steps taken against the Arab revolt, such as the introduction of ‘Star Chamber’ methods, the alteration of the law to allow the validity of uncorroborated evidence and the ban on the Mufti of Jerusalem. He based his case on the terms of the mandates and first-hand knowledge of the circumstances of the Paris Peace Conference. His expositions commenced with an explanation that the League of Nations did not give the country holding the mandates – Britain, in the case of Palestine – any proprietary rights such as partitioning the land as proposed by the Peel Commission:

“Palestine was held under an ‘A’ mandate, which had been specially framed with the idea that the people in the mandated country were equally civilised, but is, in this case, a broken-off section of the Turkish Empire, they were in need of governmental experience. But this was only until they could stand on their own legs. The mandatory’s duty was to advise and prepare them for self-administration. They were an independent people. Both Iraq and Syria, held under similar mandates, had their independence recognised so why not Palestine. Lord Balfour went out of his way to say that England would use her influence to enable the Jewish people to have a home in Palestine provided that the rights of the non-Jewish people were in no way affected.”

Another meticulous commentator was Sir John Woodhead, who headed a ‘technical commission’ charged with assessing the Peel plan. His report on Palestine, published in 1938, contained Pickthall-like forebodings of the troubles arising:

“. . . the experiment, which the original framers of the Balfour Declaration must surely have had in mind, [was] of seeking to build up, by the joint efforts of both Arabs and Jews, a single state in which the two races may ultimately learn to live and work together as fellow-citizens . . . [but] It is not enough to rely upon generalities such as the words of the Balfour Declaration: the Arabs must be told in precise and unequivocal terms exactly what safeguards are proposed in order to protect them in future from the economic domination of the Jews . . . But the time must come when the whole of the Mandated Territories will have to be closed to Jewish immigration, and it must be clearly understood that when this time has come all obligations of His Majesty’s Government arising out of the Balfour Declaration will have been fully discharged.”

Woodhead was particularly scathing on the Peel Commission’s proposal for the envisaged Jewish state to include Galilee, where 92 per cent of the population had been Arab in the early 1920s. This would have entailed their mass expulsion! Woodhead dealt with the matter at length, concluding, ‘we are of the opinion that Galilee should not be included in the Jewish State . . . we see no justification for using force to compel this large body of Arabs in what is purely an Arab area to accept Jewish rule’. Unlike many others in the British elite, concepts like the rule of law and justice mattered to an honourable man. Woodhead subsequently accepted the honorary post of treasurer of the London Mosque Fund, which he fulfilled in exemplary fashion, while also mentoring a generation of community activists in the Jamiat Muslimin, such as the young import-export businessman, Sulaiman Jetha, who had settled in London in 1933. In March 1939, the Jamiat held a reception at the indispensable Caxton Hall, for delegates attending the Palestine Conference in London convened by the Government. The address of welcome for the Jamiat was read out by one Muhammad Baqir, a researcher at the University of London, “. . . [We] pray that God Almighty help them [the delegates] to realise the hope of their Palestinian brethren”.

It must have been a memorable event with its variety of attendees: Palestinian leaders like Amin Tamimi and Jamal Husseini; Prince Faisal Ibn Abdul Aziz and the Saudi Ambassador in London, Shaikh Hafiz Wahba; Choudhry Khaliquzzaman, the Muslim League leader from United Provinces, British India; trustees of the London Mosque Fund, Lord Lamington and Waris Ali, the latter now an informal advisor to Winston Churchill on Indian Muslim affairs. Also present were a number of Muslim students and the Jamiat’s office-bearers, secretaries Ahmed Din and Ghulam Muhammad, and President Dr Muhammad Baksh. A Jamiat report on the occasion notes, “Mr A. R. Siddiqi (Member Legislative Assembly, Bengal) also thanked the Association [Jamiat Muslimin] for their welcome and voiced the sentiments of Indian Muslims about the present situation in Palestine”.

Alas, the London Conference did not achieve much, hampered by a lack of unity within the Muslim negotiating team and Ben Gurion’s intransigence in pressing Zionist demands. World attention was also distracted by Hitler’s army entering Czechoslovakia. The British troops still in Palestine at the end of the War were now subject to terrorist attacks, such as the King David Hotel bombing, by Irgun who also commenced ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages. The Holocaust had changed perceptions in the West and there was an unwillingness to challenge Jewish migration from Europe or Israel’s self-declaration as an independent state in 1948.

Balfour’s legacy is thus one of injustice and turmoil. The need to keep an activism for Palestine in London and elsewhere remains, with no dearth of inspiring examples to draw on from the past.

Further reading/references

Balfour’s Shadow, A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel by David Cronin, Pluto Press, 2017

Brave Hearts, Pickthall and Philby: Two English Muslims in a Changing World by M. A. Sherif, Islamic Book Trust, 2011- for Pickthall’s speech on Palestine, 1917

Churchill and the Islamic World by Warren Dockter, I.B. Tauris, 2015 – for Waris Ali’s role as an advisor to Churchill

Faisal I of Iraq by Ali Allawi, Yale, 2014 – for examples of lack of strategic foresight within the Arab leadership

Imperial Perceptions: British influence and power in late Ottoman times by Lorenzo Kamel, I. B. Tauris, 2015 – particularly for the prelude to the Balfour Declaration

The Infidel Within, Muslims in Britain since 1800 by Humayun Ansari, Hurst & Company, 2004 – a comprehensive account of Muslim settlement and institution building

Woodhead Commission, Palestine Partition Commission Report, Command Paper 5854, 1938 – for criticisms of the partitioning proposals made by Peel.

Government urged to fix ‘broken relationship’ with British Muslims

Hamed Chapman

The British Government is being urged to “reassess the way in which it engages” with its Muslim communities and to “play their role in ending the current stalemate” in what it calls a “broken relationship.”

The Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation & Public Life, chaired by former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has also called on ministers to urgently review its controversial Prevent extremism programme that effectively demonises all Muslims.

“There is a broken relationship that needs to be resolved, and both parties need to be proactive in addressing this,” it recommended in its report on ‘Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All’.

The report, published this month, found a strong sense that Muslims and Islam are ‘unfairly targeted’ and suggested that wider engagement, “including the robust challenging of views with which it disagrees, rather than the apparent boycott of certain organisations, could best enable the Government to hear from the widest possible cross-section of the UK’s Muslim communities, including young people and women.”

Muslim communities will also need to “devise ways of allowing for engagement that better reflect their pluralistic nature,” the Commission, set up by Citizen UK in 2015, also added. It further proposed it may be able to identify those who can support and facilitate these discussions, and create a forum with which the government can engage.

During interviews with British Muslims, it reported that there was a fear of discrimination that was even putting young British Muslims off from engaging in politics and other aspects of public life. It was Prevent, set up in an attempt to stop extremism that was particularly strongly criticised – being raised as an issue in all 11 cities that the Commission visited to gather evidence.

As a result, the Commission recommends that tackling extremism and radicalisation would be “better achieved with a programme that has greater trust, particularly from the UK’s Muslim communities”. It also calls on ministers to come up with a definition of anti-Muslim prejudice across Government, in the same way, Anti-Semitism was formally defined last year. It further suggests that press watchdog Ipso should consider issuing reporting guidance for the media when reporting on Muslim issues.

The former Attorney General, who is still a senior Troy MP, said the shocking terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge and Finsbury Park demonstrate the “terrible impact extremism has on innocent citizens.”

The response brought communities coming together in unity and defiance and demonstrates “why the recommendations in this report should be actioned as a matter of priority, so the UK can build on the positive work already happening.”

‘However, we cannot ignore the fact that polls also demonstrate significant scepticism across British society about the integration, and even the shared allegiance, of their British Muslim fellow citizens,” he warned.

Commissioner Ifath Nawaz said they met individuals who were “passionate about promoting the benefits of being active within civil society and working together for the common good.” But that set against this was “a backdrop of the need for some state action, particularly around anti-Muslim prejudice, and a more robust stance against the accuracy of reporting around Muslim issues.”

In response to the report, a Government spokeswoman was quoted saying that it was “clear there should be no conflict between being British and being Muslim and that active participation in public life should be open to all.”

“We’ve invested over £70 million on the integration programme since 2010. The findings of this report will help us take forward our work in creating a society where everyone – of any faith, ethnicity or background – feels valued and can participate fully,” the spokeswoman said.

 

 

Muslim scientists lead the way in Queen’s Honours

(L_R) Sir Alimuddin Zumla, Sir Mir Saeed Zahedi and Majid Mukadam, MBE

Elham Asaad Buaras

Two world-renowned Muslim scientists are to be knighted; the duo join 33 other members of the community named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, the highest number ever.

A total of 35 Muslims  (2 knighthoods, 4 OBEs, 20 MBEs, 6 BEMs, 1 Overseas MBE, 1 Overseas CMG and 1 Overseas Queen’s Police Medal) are named in the honours list – they represent achievements in a wide range of fields including enterprise, banking, policing and the arts.

However, with 2 General Practitioners, 3 surgeons and 2 scientists named this year, it is Muslims in the medical sector that are most celebrated, among them is eminent Professor of Infectious Diseases at University College London, Alimuddin Zumla and British-Iranian biomedical engineer Professor Mir Saeed Zahedi.

Zambia-born Zumla is to be knighted for services to public health and infectious diseases. Zumla recovered from crippling meningitis developed while working as a junior doctor in London in 1982 and went on to make significant contributions to the fields of Tuberculosis HIV co-infection and infectious diseases with epidemic potential. His work has focused on improving the health of poor populations globally.

He has received numerous prestigious awards, including Zambia’s highest civilian award for his outstanding contributions to infectious diseases research in sub-Saharan Africa which was awarded by President Michael Sata.

Since his appointment at UCL in 1994, Zumla has won the Weber Parkes Trust Medal and Prize from the Royal College of Physicians, the Albert Chalmers Medal from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in the Windrush Award for Academic Achievement as well as The Muslim News Ibn Sina Award for health.

“I am blessed with a very supportive family, excellent research teams and awesome talented friends who have shown ‘unity of purpose’ for improving the lives and health of disadvantaged populations worldwide,” said Zumla.

Professor Zahedi, a world leading designers of prosthetics at Blatchford & Sons, is to receive a knighthood for services to rehab engineering.

As a passionate advocate for amputee comfort, functionality, his work on the introduction of hydraulic ankles into prosthetics has provided thousands of amputees with the stability and confidence to negotiate slopes, ramps, stairs and uneven ground with a reduced risk of falls.

The culmination of this work has been in the recent development of Linx, the world’s first fully integrated lower limb system. Its ground-breaking tech routes information from multiple sensors through a master controller, allowing the limb to automatically adapt to changing terrain and circumstances. This has helped many amputees to live more independent and active lives.

Zahedi is a multi-award winning author and presenter of over 125 papers, books and scientific publications, 35 patents and plays a leading role in a number of industry and professional regulatory bodies, particularly those pertaining to patient safety.

As a trusted and dedicated ambassador for improving prosthetic care, he has succeeded in creating outstanding and lasting results for many thousands of amputees around the world, giving them back the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest.

Transplant surgeon Majid Mukadam has been awarded an MBE for services to transplantation patients. The father of two has encouraged thousands of Asians to sign the organ donor register during the course of his work at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Mukadam, who has worked at the hospital for 17 years, gives vital talks in mosques to many people.  He also convinced an Imam at a mosque to talk about the shortage to 5,000 worshippers resulting in many worshippers signing up.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust CEO, Dame Julie Moore, said: “Despite his very busy commitment to the Trust, Mr Mukadam continues to devote his spare time to raising awareness of transplant and organ donation within the Asian community.”

Al Rayan Bank CEO Sultan Choudhury said it was a “great privilege” to receive an OBE for services to Islamic finance.

“The last 13 years represent a tremendous, but sometimes difficult, journey to establish Islamic finance as an alternative to conventional finance in the UK,” said the CEO of the bank established in 2004.

One of 11 Muslim women honoured this year is Shazia Azhar, head teacher at Spring Grove Junior and Infants School in Huddersfield is to be made an MBE for services to education.

The 47-year-old, who was nominated as Teacher of the Year by the Huddersfield Examiner in 2013, has been described as “an inspirational woman”. Her teaching materials and lesson plans were disseminated to schools across Kirklees, impacting the learning of thousands of pupils.

Speaking to The Muslim News Azhar said she hopes her MBE, “play a small part in inspiring others who have been told they can’t, that they can. I also hope that some who refer to ‘Muslim women’ as a group of non-English speaking, suppressed group that contribute nothing to society, to think again.”

Founder of The Hummingbird Bakery and author of four best-selling cookbooks Tarek Malouf is to receive an MBE for services to baking. It was while attending the American School that Malouf got a sweet tooth for American-style confectionary. His first bakery opened in Notting Hill in 2004 on Portobello Road and the first batches of cupcakes sold out.

After the success of the Notting Hill shop, more bakeries followed across London in South Kensington, Soho, Islington, Richmond, Spitalfields and a seventh bakery is scheduled to open in Guildford.

Malouf chose Great Ormond Street Hospital as the focus for the bakery’s main charity activity and customers can donate an optional £1 donation when placing their online orders. The bakery also supports Terrence Higgins Trust for World AIDS Day with an annual charity red ribbon cupcake to help raise money. Furthermore, all leftover cupcakes are offered to charities for collection at the end of the day.

Malouf said, “As a British Citizen who immigrated to London from Lebanon as a very young child, I’m delighted to have made a worthwhile contribution to the baking in the city where I grew up.”

Fellow entrepreneur Asif Hamid has been appointed an MBE. Hamid, CEO of The Contact Company, has been awarded for 30 years services to business most notably, for leading the UK business arm of Bertelsmann Media group and starting The Contact Company, which provides jobs for over 1,100 locals.

Hamid said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award. Looking back at the boy growing up in a two-up, two-down in Lancashire, I could never have imagined where I would be today – it’s a dream come true. I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to create success and opportunities for myself and others throughout my career. My success has only been possible because of the support of my family, friends and colleagues.”

Other Muslims honoured

OBE: Asif Abdul Haseeb, services to racial equality, health & education in Scotland & Pakistan.
Idris Khan, services to Art.
Mohammad Quraishi, Consultant Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeon & Director ENT Masterclass, Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals, services to the NHS & medical education.

MBE: Dr Khalid Rashed, Consultant, Yeovil Hospital, services to stroke care.
Dr Nikita Kanani, GP & Chief Clinical Officer, NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group, services to primary care.
Dr Shah Khan, services to the Muslim community & community cohesion.
Monawar Hussain, Tutor & Imam, services to interfaith relations & the community in Oxfordshire.
Samera Ashraf, services to sport & diversity.
Abdul Jabbar, for political & public service.
Asif Amir Khan, services to architecture.
Mohamed Issa, Senior Lecturer, MoD, services to the Defence Ctr for languages & culture.
Mohammad Miah, Chef & Restauranteur, services to the hospitality industry & charity.
Mohammad Ashfaq, Founder & Managing Director, Kikit Pathways to Recovery, Birmingham, services to vulnerable people.
Tariq Usmani, Founding Chair, Better Community Business Network, services to community cohesion.
Razia Ismail, Chair & Founder, Aaghee, services to women in the Asian community in Birmingham.
Saeeda Ali, Higher Executive Officer, MoD, services to Defence.
Sazeda Patel, services to the community in Blackburn.
Adetola Kunle-Hassan, Founder, Nubian Skin, services to fashion.
Aqila Choudhry, for public & political service.

BEM:

Dr Sohail Munshi, GP, Five Oaks Family Practice, North Manchester, services to primary care.
Ajaz Ahmed, Mentor, Mosaic Network & Council Member/Advisory Board Member, Huddersfield University, services to young people.
Mohammed Malik, Councillor, Aberdeen City Council, services to the community.
Olayinka Idris Bada, Designated Detention Officer, Metropolitan Police, services to policing.
Iffet Mian, Founding Member, All Pakistan Women’s Association Birmingham Branch, services to the community.
Noor Ali, Senior Buying Manager – World Foods, WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc, services to diversity in the retail industry.

Diplomatic & Overseas List: MBE:

Tahmina Rahman, Regional Director, ARTICLE19, services to freedom of expression & the right to information in Bangladesh. CMG:
Asif Ahmad, HM Ambassador, Philippines, services to British interests in South East Asia.

Overseas Territories Police & Fire Service Medal For Meritorious Service: Moustafa Kemal, Chief Inspector, Sovereign Base Areas Police, Cyprus.

Thirty-one members of the Hindu and Sikh communities were also awarded this year (1 DBE, 2 CBEs,10 OBEs, 11 MBEs, 5 BEMs, 1 Diplomatic OBE and 1 Queens special medal). Twenty-five members of the Jewish community were also awarded; they included, 2 Companion of Honour, 4 Knighthoods, 1 Damehoods, 2 CBEs, 8 OBEs, 3 MBEs, 4 BEMs and 1 Queen’s Police Medal.

 

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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